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Advanced Hearing Care—Improving your Quality of Life. Potomac Audiology: 240-477-1010

Best of Bethesda 2014!

Potomac Audiology wins Best of Bethesda 2014!

Best of Bethesda
Potomac Audiology is honored to be selected as a winner of the Best of Bethesda 2014 awards. Our care of patients, state-of-the-art evaluations and the most advanced audiology technology has allowed us to improve the hearing of thousands of patients.This quality of service is highly valued at Potomac Audiology. To be selected by the people of the Bethesda area makes this award all the more meaningful. We are thrilled to be elected as the “Readers’ Pick, Best Audiologist  in both 2014 and 2013.

Potomac Audiology celebrates this honor with you!

Greatly Improved Hearing!

Patient describes his experience at Potomac Audiology.

Not the Car Salesman Approach

When I first met Gail, I was impressed with her knowledge of hearing loss and the different types and brands of hearing aids on the market. I have experienced hearing loss since 1995 and during that time have visited several audiologists. I have purchased several brands of hearing aids over the years and my experience was always akin to buying a new car. The audiologist would push the most expensive model and not necessarily the best model for my hearing loss.

Gail is a very different audiologist. Rather than taking the “car sales” approach, she instructed me on the different types of loss and directed me to a hearing aid which provides the maximum benefit for me. She has been very helpful during the fitting process, the trial period, and continues to be available and helpful whenever I need an adjustment or have a question about my new aids.

I have a significant hearing loss. Prior to meeting Gail, my existing digital hearing aids were programmed for maximum volume but not for my specific hearing loss. I missed so  much. I was so amazed with the difference in hearing after receiving my new hearing aids from Gail, it literally changed my life. I actually enjoy social situations that I used to avoid because of my hearing loss! I am now more ‘outgoing’ and responsive to everyday interactions! Gail changed my life!

-Steven E. Scaplehorn

Best of Bethesda 2013 Winner!

Potomac Audiology--Winner of Best of Bethesda 2013Potomac Audiology wins Best of Bethesda 2013!


Potomac Audiology is honored to be a winner of the Best of Bethesda 2013 awards.

Selected as the “Readers’ Pick, Best Audiologist and also the “Editors’ Pick, Best Audiologist, Potomac Audiology celebrates this honor with you!

Potomac Audiology, Rockville, MD

Hearing Aid Prices

Hearing Aid Prices and Services

Potomac Audiology offers a variety of options and services to fit your health plan. Click Here to review our plans and options to find the one that fits your lifestyle and hearing needs.

 

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Potomac Audiology Contact Information

We are aware that some patients are having difficulty reaching us because of the phone system.
Call our offices at the following numbers.


Potomac Audiology: 240-477-1010

If you experience difficulty with the phone lines, please call us at:

Mobile: 301-770-3231

We are interested in assisting you. If you still experience difficulty, email us at: gail@potomacaudiology.com.

Please let us know of any difficulty you are experiencing so it can be resolved. Thanks!

We look forward to speaking with you!

Great Results

I have been wearing hearing aids for eight years. During that time I saw several different hearing healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, the results never seemed to be satisfactory. Despite several hearing aid adjustments, I still had communication difficulties in almost all listening environments. I was told that given my hearing loss I would need to buy new hearing aids.

By chance, I went into Gail’s office. In one hour she completed a hearing test, determined that I did not need new hearing aids and adjusted the ones I had. What she did is the closest thing to a miracle I have ever experienced. Gone is the static from the phone. Music is again delightful and I am able to hear each individual instrument. In restaurants I now can hear others speaking without being overwhelmed by the background noise. Also, when I go to conferences I am now able to hear and process everything the speaker says. Until I saw Gail I tried to avoid wearing the hearing aids. Now, I chose to wear them at all times.

-Carmenza

Dr. Gail Linn on “A NEW ME,” CH9 TV Series

Call 240-477-1010 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gail Linn.

“A New Me,” Channel 9 television series with expert advice from health professionals, interviews Dr. Gail Linn of Potomac Audiology. Learn more about hearing, hearing loss, testing procedures, hearing aids and long-term care hearing care. Watch for upcoming episodes that will continue to be added.

View the broadcast online >

Hearing Aid Technology

THREE LEVELS OF HEARING AID TECHNOLOGY

There are essentially three levels of hearing aid technology referred to as analog, digitally programmable and digital.

ANALOG technology is the technology that has been around for many decades. Analog technology is basic technology and offers limited adjustment capability. It is the LEAST expensive.

DIGITALLY PROGRAMMABLE technology is the “middle grade” technology. Digitally programmable units are analog units digitally controlled by the computer in the office to adjust the sounds of the hearing aid.

DIGITAL technology is the most sophisticated hearing aid technology. Digital technology gives the audiologist maximum control over sound quality and sound processing characteristics. There are qualitative indications that digital instruments do outperform digitally programmable and analog hearing aids. Digitals are not perfect, but they are very good. Digital hearing aids have been widely available since 1996.

Digital Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing Aid Styles: ITE, ITC, MC, CIC, BTE

There are many styles of hearing aids. The degree of the hearing loss, power and options requirements, manual dexterity abilities, cost factors, and cosmetic concerns are some of the factors that will determine the style the patient will use.

The most common styles are:

ITE Hearing Aids

In-the-Ear

In-The-Ear units are probably the most comfortable, the least expensive and the easiest to operate. They are also the largest of the custom made styles.

ITC Hearing Aids

In-the-Canal

In-The-Canal units are a little more expensive than ITEs. They require good dexterity to control the volume wheels and other controls on the faceplate, and they are smaller than ITEs.


MC Hearing Aids

Mini-Canals are the size between ITC and CIC. A mini canal is a good choice when you desire the smallest possible hearing aid while still having manual control over the volume wheel and possibly other controls.

CIC Hearing Aids

Completely-in-the-Canal

Completely-In-the-Canal units are the tiniest hearing aids made. They usually require a “removal string” due to their small size and the fact that they fit so deeply into the canal. CICs can be difficult to remove without the pull string. CICs do not usually have manual controls attached to them because they are too small.

BTE Hearing Aids

Behind-the-Ear

Behind-The-Ear hearing aids are the largest hearing aids and they are very reliable. BTEs have the most circuit options and they can typically have much more power than any of the custom made in the ear units. BTEs are the units that “sit” on the back of your ear. They are connected to the ear canal via custom-made plastic tubing. The tubing is part of the earmold. The earmold is custom made from an ear impression to perfectly replicate the size and shape of your ear.

Digital Hearing Aids

100% DIGITAL HEARING AIDS

Dr. Gail Linn, Potomac Audiology

Dr. Gail Linn, Potomac Audiology

The term DIGITAL is used so often today, it can be confusing. When the term “digital” is used while referring to hearing aids, it generally means the hearing aid is 100% digital. In other words, the hearing aid is indeed a “complete computer”. 100% digital hearing aids have been commercially available since 1996 and are wonders of modern technology. 100% digital hearing aids can process sound using incredibly fast speeds such as 100 to 200 million calculations per second. Interestingly, most 100% digital hearing aids have analog components, such as the microphone and the receiver. 100% digital hearing aids transform analog information into a digital signal and process the sound to maximize the speech information you want to hear, while minimizing the amplification of sounds you do not want to hear.

Digital technology is tremendous and it allows the audiologist maximal control over the sound quality and loudness of the hearing aid. Importantly, digital technology allows the audiologist to tailor or customize the sound of your hearing aids to what you need and want to hear. In summary, if you want the best technology—get 100% digital hearing aids.

Cochlear Implants Reports

Working Group on Cochlear Implants

This technical report was approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Executive Board in March 2003. This technical report is an update and supersedes the previous technical report Cochlear Implants, 1986. Members of the working group were: Carolyn J. Brown, Co-Chair; Ann Geers; Barbara Herrmann; Karen Iler Kirk, Co-Chair; J. Bruce Tomblin; and Susan Waltzman. Renee Levinson and Gail Linn served as the National Office liaisons and members of the group. Susan Brannen, ASHA 2001–2003 vice president for professional practices in audiology, provided guidance and support. Click on link below to view report.

www.asha.org/docs/html/TR2004-00041.html

Cochlear Implants and Meningitis

Cochlear Implant Recipients Have A Small But Increased Risk Of Meningitis

Currently, almost 10,000 children in the United States with severe to profound hearing loss have cochlear implants. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state health departments which was reported in the July 31, 2003 New England Journal of Medicine, children with cochlear implants have a small but increased risk of contracting meningitis. Of the 4,264 children who received cochlear implants between 1997 and 2002, 26 developed meningitis indicating a 30 times greater incidence among same aged children in the general population. About one half of the cases reported were due to the use of an “electrode positioner” during implant surgery, which was voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturer in July 2002.

Related to the possible risk of meningitis, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • Any surgery on the inner ear can increase the risk of infectious diseases like meningitis.
  • Some individuals who are deaf may have congenital abnormalities of the inner ear that make them more prone to meningitis with or without an implant, and
  • Some individuals who are deaf from meningitis may be at an increased risk for subsequent episodes of meningitis in comparison to the general population

In addition to reporting the risk factors, the above study emphasized the following recommendations:

  • Cochlear implant recipients should have received pneumococcal vaccinations with cochlear implant candidates vaccinated at least two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Parents need to know the symptoms of meningitis and be vigilant for possible signs of meningitis.
  • Middle ear infections (otitis media) should be treated promptly. In some cases, cochlear implant recipients had signs of middle ear infection prior to surgery or before meningitis developed.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting the following websites or by contacting Gail Linn through the American Speech-Language-Hearing (ASHA) Action Center at 800-498-2071 (ext. 4112) or email at glinn@asha.org :

www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/ehdi/cochlear

www.nejm.org

Cochlear Implants

COCHLEAR IMPLANTS IN CHILDREN AND ADULTS

Generally speaking, cochlear implants are for patients with severe-to-profound, sensorineural hearing loss. There are approximately 500,000 patients in the USA with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Cochlear implants are only recommended after the patient has tried the most powerful and most appropriately fit hearing aids, and has not shown sufficient benefit from hearing aids. Cochlear implants are devices that are “permanently” surgically implanted into the inner ear.

Cochlear implantation is a surgical procedure performed by otolaryngology surgeons. Cochlear implants have been FDA approved for almost two decades and the advances and improvements in the technology have been amazing. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) recognize cochlear implants as safe and effective treatment for severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Most insurance programs pay (at least partly) for cochlear implantation. Your audiologist, your otolaryngology surgeon and their appropriate office staff are experienced at managing insurance issues.

Appropriately identified adults as well as profoundly deaf children (starting at age 12 months) can be implanted. Research demonstrates that the earlier a deaf child is implanted, the better the long term result will be with respect to speech and language development. Following surgery, rehabilitation is necessary, as the child must learn to associate the sound signals with normal sounds. Regarding deaf adults, research suggests that adults who receive cochlear implants are less lonely, have less social anxiety, are more independent, have increased social and interpersonal skills, and of course, they hear better with the cochlear implant.

Cochlear implants are utilized in the patient who cannot benefit from hearing aids. The cochlear implant is a device used to bypass the nonfunctional inner ear and converts sound into electrical impulses that directly stimulate the cochlear nerve. The implant consists of an external portion comprised of a microphone, sound processor, and external coil and an internal portion that must be surgically implanted. The surgical procedure involves the placement of an internal receiver beneath the skin behind the ear, and stimulating electrode array, which is inserted into the cochlea or inner ear. The electrical signals are manipulated and controlled by the audiologist to maximize speech perception. The brain interprets these electrical impulses as sound. Again, not all patients are surgical candidates, and not all cochlear implant recipients receive the same benefit.

It is important to remember that the vast majority of the patients who receive cochlear implants are actually “deaf” prior to implantation, and they have not been successful with traditional hearing aids. Your audiologist is a very knowledgeable resource in regards to cochlear implants and will be happy to discuss them with you.

Types of Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

WHAT TYPES OF ALDs EXIST?

There are many assistive listening devices available today, from sophisticated systems used in theaters and auditoriums to small personal systems.

Various kinds of assistive listening devices are listed below:

  • Personal Listening Systems: There are several types of personal listening systems available. All are designed to carry sound from the speaker (or other source) directly to the listener and to minimize or eliminate environmental noises. Some of these systems, such as auditory trainers, are designed for classroom or small group use. Others, such as personal FM systems and personal amplifiers, are especially helpful for one-to-one conversations in places such as automobiles, meeting rooms, and restaurants.
  • TV Listening Systems: These are designed for listening to TV, radio, or stereos without interference from surrounding noise or the need to use very high volume. Models are available for use with or without hearing aids. TV listening systems allow the family to set the volume of the TV, while the user adjusts only the volume of his or her own listening system.
  • Direct Audio Input Hearing Aids: These are hearing aids with direct audio input connections (usually wires) which can be connected to the TV, stereo, tape, and/or radio as well as to microphones, auditory trainers, personal FM systems and other assistive devices.
  • Telephone Amplifying Devices: Most, but not all, standard telephone receivers are useful with hearing aids. These phones are called ” hearing aid compatible.” The option on the hearing aid is called the T-Coil. The T-coil is automatically activated on some hearing aids and manually activated on others. Basically, the telephone and the hearing aid?s T-coil communicate with each other electromagnetically, allowing the hearing aid to be used at a comfortable volume without feedback and with minimal background noise. You should be able to get hearing-aid-compatible phones from your telephone company or almost any retail store that sells telephones. Not all hearing aids have a “T” switch. Make sure your hearing aids have a T switch before purchasing a new hearing aid compatible phone! There are literally dozens of T-coil and telephone coupling systems. Speak with your audiologist to get the most appropriate system for your needs.
  • Discuss cell phones and hearing aids with your audiologist.

  • Cell Phones: Most hearing aids can be used with most cell phones. Importantly, digital hearing aids and digital phones may create constant noise or distortion. There may be significant problems for some hearing aids when used with particular cell phones! The best person to address this problem is your audiologist, speak with your audiologist BEFORE you buy a cell phone or hearing aids! Regarding “hands free” systems, there are many to choose from and hearing impaired users usually benefit maximally by using binaural hands free systems.

Candidates for Assistive Listening Devices (ALDS)

Are ALDs Only for People Using Hearing Aids?

No. People with all degrees and types of hearing loss, even people with normal hearing can benefit from assistive listening devices. Some assistive listening devices are used with hearing aids; some are used without hearing aids.

What are Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)?

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

You may have certain communication needs that cannot be solved by the use of hearing aids alone. These situations may involve the use of the telephone, radio, television, and the inability to hear the door chime, telephone bell, and alarm clock. Special devices have been developed to solve these problems. Like hearing aids, assistive listening devices make sounds louder.

Typically, a hearing aid makes all sounds in the environment louder. Assistive listening devices can increase the loudness of a desired sound (a radio or television, a public speaker, an actor, someone talking in a noisy place) without increasing the loudness of the background noises. This is because the microphone of the assistive listening device is placed close to the speaker, while the microphone of the hearing aid is always close to the listener.